Audioquest Type 2 speaker cable review

ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,835
This might be the quickest I've ever reviewed something after it's arrived, but my experience was so vivid that I don't feel a need to wait.

I ordered a 4' pins/spades terminated pair of AQ Type 2 SC from Audio Advisor for $50: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQT2NF

It fit my termination requirement of pins for the amp's spring clips, was inexpensive, but was still a step up in from the standard 14ga OFC Monoprice wire I was using for my Polk Audio Blackstone TL3 computer speakers.

As usual AA processed and shipped my order promptly. These cables are terminated in house and they were the cheapest custom terminated cables that didn't use regular stranded OFC copper wire that I could find.

Instead, they use 4 individually insulated solid long grain copper wires, twisted in a star pattern. Two each for positive and negative. Workmanship on the terminations seem clean to me, with a little bit of excess solder visible on the spades. I'd wager that more is better than less though in this situation.

AAQTYPE2.jpg

aqt2nf_bw-LARGE.jpg

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59o1dh7siqt0.jpg

Bonus pic. Hate spring clips and how either bare wire or pins are the only option with them. This just makes me nervous:

03zeaofmtzq4.jpg


Moving on to how they sound! I had been using the standard 14ga wire since I got the TL3s so I had a good idea of what they offered. I always thought it sounded "just fine" and was doing justice to the TL3s. Well, I was wrong.

I hooked up the Type 2 cables and from the very first song I played, I noticed a difference in the way things were sounding. The most noticeable change was an effortless, smooth, and elegant quality that the sound had. The speakers were putting out a more cohesive soundstage, and stereo imaging was noticeably improved. I love the sensation of a nice thick stereo image, when it feels like the sound is whipping past and over your ears.

Information within songs was being presented differently. I can best describe it as a smoothness and grace that wasn't there before. In some songs, certain elements/instruments popped in and actually startled me because I hadn't heard them featured like that before. The clarity was literally surprising to me.

I can't adequately describe the feeling I now get when listening. It just sounds better. It's more enjoyable. I realize that technically that is a completely vague and subjective statement, but it's the honest truth.

These Audioquest Type 2 cables would be an excellent choice for someone looking to upgrade from standard 12-16ga stranded copper wire. As long as you have a decent set of ears, I don't see how you could NOT hear a difference. It's of course up to you to decide if that difference is "better" to you.

Overall I think that the Type 2 represents a great value, and with the nice termination options offered as well as the relatively inexpensive price, you'd be wise to give these a try if you're still using bare wire.

Got Dayens?

Comments

  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,019
    Good job. You are going down a slippery path. Enjoy. B)
    Bud - Silicon Valley

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  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,835
    Haha, I'm already down it. I already have Audioquest Bedrock SCs on my serious rig, soon to be MIT Terminator 2s.
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Good job. You are going down a slippery path. Enjoy. B)

    Got Dayens?
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,149
    Nice review, Drew. I got into some reading a while back on AudioQuest cables, designs and cable theory. They have a good bit of technical documentation on their site. Interesting.

    Though I've never done it, I heard you could snip those pins if you prefer them shorter. I thought the indents were more to provide backup against slipping. I'd wonder whether snipping them could be detrimental somehow, with respect to exposing the core material and compromising the plating.

    Another idea would be to get some skinny heatshrink to slide up and heat down to cover the exposed pin section past the indent(s) you'll use. I'd personally leave at least two indents to use.

    Support the cables if you can. I use velcro ties to secure heavy cables to a rack, cabinet or stand to provide a bit a of strain relief at the connections.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,212
    Just goes to show ya don't have to spend big bucks on cables to get better sound.
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  • muncybobmuncybob Posts: 1,821
    Your review reminds me of how I feel sometimes when something new is introduced into the system....hearing something in a "different way". Many times I play the track again just to be sure I actually heard what I heard in the way that I heard it.....if that makes any sense at all!
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500, Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Oppo BDP93, "upgraded" Polk SDA 2B.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,835
    Thanks for the ideas, Scott. I had heard that as well that you can break/cut pins to shorten them. For now I'll let it ride as is and see how it goes. Should be fine as long as my cat doesn't go back there, which he usually never does! Somehow I got lucky and found the one cat in the world that doesn't shred the toilet paper roll or bite on cables.

    The cables themselves are actually pretty light and flexible, so I routed them in such a way where they are somewhat being cradled by adjacent cables. There's little to no pressure or strain being placed on the spring clip terminals. And, like you suggested, I tried to let the spring clips "bite" onto the small indents/valleys to hopefully secure them further.
    msg wrote: »
    Support the cables if you can. I use velcro ties to secure heavy cables to a rack, cabinet or stand to provide a bit a of strain relief at the connections.

    Got Dayens?
  • ManticoreManticore Posts: 244
    Clipdat wrote: »

    Bonus pic. Hate spring clips and how either bare wire or pins are the only option with them. This just makes me nervous:

    03zeaofmtzq4.jpg


    I know the spring clips grab the indent on the pins but, that photo makes me cringe!
    Nice review.
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  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 1,207
    These cables look very nice! I think these will be the top option when I get my gear sold. Good review as well!
    Micah
    2 channel
    Speakers: Mission 770 Freedoms
    Integrated amp: Technics SU-v75 and matching tuner
    CDP: Technics SL-PC20
    Cables: Monoprice, Monster, Acoustic Research, and a few generic ones
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    Random equipment on standby:
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    txcoastal1 wrote: »

    You don't tell her you read the manual, and you tell her you know what the problem is, and you fixed it, because that what men do, fix things
    sure it has a flat response, and sure it has a lot of detail, and yes, it has good and clear lows. But is it enjoyable to listen to? Does it make you grin ear to ear? That’s what really matters.
    Seen somewhere on AudioKarma (I think)
  • zuulzuul Posts: 198
    I use AQ type 4 in my rig. best cables I've heard... would take a lot for me to consider switching....
    speakers:
    bowers & wilkins 685 S2
    polk psw-10
    components:
    sonic frontiers line 1 preamp
    sonic frontiers anthem amp 1
    mac mini w/ audioquest jitterbug
    teac ud-501 digital to analog converter
    oppo dv-980h dvd/cd
    interconnects:
    monoprice
    guzi
    belkin gold series usb
    speaker wire
    audioquest type 4
    power:
    rhino-tek 1000w 15amp voltage regulator
    vansevers 211 power cord
    pangea ac-14 power cord
    tubes:
    amplifier: (2) NOS 1960 philco/lansdale 12AU7 (super rare!), (1) NOS 1967 mullard 12AX7, (4) 2016 svetlana hard blue EL-34
    pre-amp: (6) E88CC/6922 ??? (haven't cracked the case yet to see what previous owner was running...) so for now they are mystery tubes.
    misc:
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  • motorhead43026motorhead43026 Posts: 2,546
    I am running type 8, have tried/have others but keep coming back to these.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk Signature S60's;Cables: Wireworld Eclipse IC; Audioquest Big Sur IC; Zu Audio Mission speaker cables; PS Audio AC-3 power cords, all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    All TV's sound enhanced by Polk Magnfi Mini's.

    Other; SDA2BTL's, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage.

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  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,393
    Anyone have comparison between these and the Furez wire that Doug sells? I have the 10g (due to longer runs) and enjoy it quite a bit. Specifically the FZ102AS wire.
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  • mantismantis Posts: 14,908
    zuul wrote: »
    I use AQ type 4 in my rig. best cables I've heard... would take a lot for me to consider switching....
    What you get when you move up the ladder is small changes and differences. You end up spending a ton of money for little gains. I studied the line and tried everyone up to the Rocket 44. I stopped at Rocket 44 and wired my entire system with it.
    The Type 4 speaker cable is an outstanding cable.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 6,533
    mantis wrote: »
    zuul wrote: »
    I use AQ type 4 in my rig. best cables I've heard... would take a lot for me to consider switching....
    What you get when you move up the ladder is small changes and differences. You end up spending a ton of money for little gains. I studied the line and tried everyone up to the Rocket 44. I stopped at Rocket 44 and wired my entire system with it.
    The Type 4 speaker cable is an outstanding cable.

    One of these days when I'm bored, I'll listen to 3 different AQ cables.

    AQ type 4
    AQ Aspen
    AQ Wel

    contrast as compare.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
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  • kevhed72kevhed72 Posts: 3,232
    Great post....as I have been looking to change out my 14awg Monster cable in my family room rig.
    How flexible is the cable overall? How close to a 90 degree bend you think you could get without jacking up the solid wires?
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,149
    I heard you're supposed to work any sharp bendy areas back and forth quickly at least 100 times to break it in and make it easier to work with. You'll know you're there when the cable bends easily on its own.
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,149
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I tried to let the spring clips "bite" onto the small indents/valleys to hopefully secure them further.
    Yeah, I think whenever I've used these, with vintage receivers, for example, I've tried to get them in at least two indents. I noticed that some connectors have a bottom, while others seem open ended inside. Probably important to note on the open bottomed ones that inserting pin connectors all the way may not be the best idea if you can't see what's going on inside. I'd wonder whether it would be possible to cross the pins resulting in a spot of trouble.

    nrlafke4284a.gif


  • delkaldelkal Posts: 229
    Interesting thread!

    I was also looking at the Audioadvisor site and see they have Audioquest type 4's for about twice price of the 2's. You can get a 10 ft pair with their "no frills" terminations for $119. Not a bad deal since just buying the bare wire is the same price.

    audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQT4NF&opt=475|492|494|501

    You can also get the type 4's factory terminated by Audioquest with the fancy braided sheath and (presumably) better connectors. They look great but the price goes up fast......a 10 ft pair is $280.

    audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AQT4&opt=1160|1167|1169|1172


    I assume the wire part will sound the same ugly/plain or fancy/sheathed. But are the better connectors worth $160?

  • kevhed72kevhed72 Posts: 3,232
    The AQ "finished" cable look super nice but IMO way too pricey unless money is no object. Im basically wining becasue all the Type 4s on flea bay are somewhat outrageous price wise for used speaker cables.
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,013
    has anyone tried audioquest gbc sspeaker acbles from hcm audio?

    https://hcmaudio.com/products/audioquest-gbc-speaker-cable-full-range-pair
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800, Usher R1.5
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra
    Speaker Cables: Analysis Plus Black Mesh Oval 9, Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro, MG Audio Design Planus Cu2,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Power Cables by: Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,212
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    The AQ "finished" cable look super nice but IMO way too pricey unless money is no object. Im basically wining becasue all the Type 4s on flea bay are somewhat outrageous price wise for used speaker cables.

    Pricey ? What's your idea of pricey ? Because you can buy some AQ type 4's straight from BestBuy for a tad over 100 bucks.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioquest-8-type-4-speaker-cable-blue-black/9892721.p?skuId=9892721
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • kevhed72kevhed72 Posts: 3,232
    Im cheap and dont want to spend that much for my 2nd system....thats all. I had a pair of type 4s I scored for like 100 bucks used awhile ago and like a fool sold them.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,212
    edited June 30
    By any measure, I don't think 100-150 bucks is pricey...for any system. Just sayin'.

    Your system, be it the 1st/2nd/or 3rd, is only going to be as good as the weakest link. Don't make cables that weak link is all I'm sayin' and a tad over 100 bucks is totally reasonable.

    Cheap is relative...my outdoor speakers have cheap cables. Still, they are AQ cables.

    https://www.crutchfield.com/p_703X250W/AudioQuest-X2-Speaker-Cable-50-feet-White.html?tp=588&awkw=75643972945&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=47692541425&awdv=c&awug=9021493&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuc3cstL82wIVisDACh0dFw7KEAQYASABEgLuL_D_BwE

    100 bucks for a 50 ft. roll and they sound way better than the crap I had in there which were comparable to monoprice cabling. For 50 ft of cable though, too much higher up the ladder will cost ya a fortune.

    For 8-10 ft though, spend the coin. Not like anyone has to eat spam for a month.

    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,032
    marvda1 wrote: »
    has anyone tried audioquest gbc sspeaker acbles from hcm audio?

    https://hcmaudio.com/products/audioquest-gbc-speaker-cable-full-range-pair

    HCM Audio is legit. I've bought many Audioquest items from them.
  • mantismantis Posts: 14,908
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    Great post....as I have been looking to change out my 14awg Monster cable in my family room rig.
    How flexible is the cable overall? How close to a 90 degree bend you think you could get without jacking up the solid wires?
    Not a good idea to bend a 90 degree angle in a cable my friend especially solid core cables. You can break or at minimum restrict signal flow.
    14g Monstercable is stranded but you still shouldn't bend it at 90 degrees. Soft bend work much better.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantismantis Posts: 14,908
    Joey_V wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    zuul wrote: »
    I use AQ type 4 in my rig. best cables I've heard... would take a lot for me to consider switching....
    What you get when you move up the ladder is small changes and differences. You end up spending a ton of money for little gains. I studied the line and tried everyone up to the Rocket 44. I stopped at Rocket 44 and wired my entire system with it.
    The Type 4 speaker cable is an outstanding cable.

    One of these days when I'm bored, I'll listen to 3 different AQ cables.

    AQ type 4
    AQ Aspen
    AQ Wel

    contrast as compare.
    I've been doing this for decades. Swapping out cables and listening to the differences between them is fun, annoying , frustrating when the cables you think should be better and are not, also when you find cables you really like for the reasons other then sound quality can also get very frustrating.
    The magic with audioquest is that they build all their cables from the entry level models to the Wel's. You get a beautiful sounding system no matter what you spend on the cables. The gains you get are small as you go up the ladder and on many more entry systems you can't even hear any differences anyway because the system can't revel that level of clarity. It's like putting Perelli High end High speed tires on a car that can't reach the speed rating or handling abilities. Matching the correct tire to the car is key for not wasting money or products with no benefits to given situation.

    So testing type 4 vs Well the system would have to be very high end to hear the differences. I would never buy We level cables for my system as it doesn't have that kind of detail and clarity.
    I find figuring out what level is appropriate makes the most value for a given system. Just because a cable is technically better then another in a given system you might not be able to hear those differences.
    I really learned this not just from my own trials and errors but from learning from the Engineers who design the gear and cables we love.

    Have fun and do it sooner then later unless you don't want to give up a TON of your free time being a NUT like me. I probably should be locked away in a mental ward for the amount of time I spent testing cables LOL.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 229
    tonyb wrote: »
    kevhed72 wrote: »
    The AQ "finished" cable look super nice but IMO way too pricey unless money is no object. Im basically wining becasue all the Type 4s on flea bay are somewhat outrageous price wise for used speaker cables.

    Pricey ? What's your idea of pricey ? Because you can buy some AQ type 4's straight from BestBuy for a tad over 100 bucks.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/audioquest-8-type-4-speaker-cable-blue-black/9892721.p?skuId=9892721

    Best Buy confused me too. I was ready to get out my credit card till I realized that was for one cable. The "plain" Audioadvisor cable is for a pair (which is useful if you have a stereo).

    I assume they sound the same.

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